Breast Feeding

By the United States Department of Labor

Summary: “No single factor exercises a more pronounced influence on the development of the baby and on his health during his entire life than nursing at his mother’s breast.” So wrote the U.S. Department of Labor (USDL) in its landmark Folder 8, an annual report issued from the 1920s through the 1940s encouraging mothers to breast feed their infants and advising them on the best nutrition to support their body in the task. Though, sadly, the government would later abandon its official support of breast feeding, the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research continued to reprint snippets from the USDL’s Folder 8, along with the article “Weaning the Breast-Fed Baby” from Today’s Health magazine, as the single publication presented here. With its emphasis on untainted animal foods, fresh produce, and unprocessed foods, the diet outlined in this classic guide is as sound for nursing mothers today as it was in its day. Multiple sources, published from 1926 to 1962. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 122. 

The Use of Macrocystis Pyrifera [Kelp] as Source of Trace Elements in Human Nutrition

By G.L. Seifert and H.C. Wood

Summary: As read at the Second International Seaweed Symposium in 1956. Dr. Seifert reports on a study in which “the nutritional value of sea kelp and trace minerals was demonstrated.” In the experiment, the diet of 400 pregnant women—the majority suffering anemia—was fortified with tablets of dried giant bladder kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera). In the majority of the subjects, the anemia disappeared within six to eight weeks of the onset of supplementation. In addition, there was “a spectacular drop in the incidence of colds” among the subjects. (Anemia and a tendency to develop colds is a common problem faced by pregnant women, the investigators note.) Seifert adds that the success of the study is likely a result of the high trace mineral content of the kelp, and that one of the key effects of trace minerals may be their promotion of the actions of vitamins. Reprint 133, 1956.

Prenatal Nutrition and Birth Defects

By Mark R. Anderson

Summary: “The first words spoken by a woman upon learning she is pregnant should be, ‘Am I well nourished?'” writes nutrition researcher and educator Mark Anderson. In this sweeping article, Anderson recounts the findings of some of the giants of early nutrition research—Sir Robert McCarrison, Dr. Weston Price, Dr. Royal Lee—to show that the key to being well nourished is a diet of whole, unprocessed foods prepared “in obedience to time-honored dietary traditions.” Indeed, regardless of which of the many tribal societies these intrepid pioneers observed, it appeared that “isolation from Western civilization and its foods of commerce…afforded a diet that protected health.” Unsurprisingly, birth defects among these societies were virtually nonexistent. And how did these traditional diets compare with the current recommendations of our public health officials? “[They] looked nothing like our modern USDA Food Pyramid,” Anderson writes, “unless, perhaps, if it is turned upside down and all the foodstuffs are consumed in their unrefined state.” This is an incredibly important document about not just prenatal nutrition but the core of nutrition in general: what to eat. From Whole Food Nutrition Journal, circa 2000.

Maternal Malnutrition and Fetal Prenatal Developmental Malformation

By Howard H. Hillemann, PhD

Summary: A thoroughly researched report on the birth and developmental defects known to result from specific nutrient deficiencies in human and test-animal mothers during pregnancy. Professor Dr. Howard Hillemann of Oregon State College covers deficiencies of vitamins A, C, and E, fats, carbohydrates, the B complex vitamers (including folate), protein, calcium, phosphorous, and manganese. Includes 61 references. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, reprint 66A, 1956.

Maternal Malnutrition and Congenital Deformity

By Howard H. Hillemann, PhD

Summary: In this lecture from 1958, Oregon State professor Dr. Howard Hillemann breaks down the number of birth defects occurring in the United States by cause, noting in particular the increasing numbers of defects attributable to environmental chemicals, food additives, and prenatal malnutrition. The report includes a comprehensive discussion of the role of vitamins and minerals in prenatal nutrition, addressing each nutrient individually. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, reprint 66B, 1958.